The Sisters’ Song by Louise Allan – book review

I’ve been waiting to read the final copy of The Sisters’ Song by Louise Allan for a long time. I first read this book as a beta reader for Louise about two years ago – and I still remember the day she phoned me, full of excitement, to say she had an agent. Finding my name in the acknowledgements was a moment to treasure.

This book has been years in the making but what a triumph of determination it is. It’s heartfelt and relatable in terms of the often challenging relationships we have with loved ones; it’s poignant and yet complex; it is wrenching but there are glimmers of hope and light throughout.

Themes of sibling rivalry, lost dreams, mother-daughter relationships, mental illness, mother love and guilt, infertility and more are tackled with a sensitive and knowing touch, without veering towards the sentimental. The setting is evocative, both of time and place; the author’s love of landscape and music is reflected with vibrant and moody description.

Above all, it’s beautifully written, with lyrical language at times underscoring the well-crafted tale and complex characters. A book to savour, I highly recommend The Sisters’ Song. (Allen & Unwin, RRP $29.99).

Monique Mulligan
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